WHAT ARE AGE SPOTS?
This condition can also be referred to as ‘sun spots’, ‘solar lentigines’ or ‘liver spots’ and they usually develop on areas such as: the face, shoulders, arms, chest and hands.
Age spots will often develop as small, round, flat patches of darkened skin which affects its even tone. Those with fairer skin are more prone to developing age spots, which often do not fade on their own.
Age spots are not usually found to be harmful, but their appearance is what causes the concern as they can make the skin look tired and are associated with getting older.
WHAT CAUSES AGE SPOTS?
Age spots are often an indication that the skin has been damaged by the sun, which is also why they appear in areas that get a lot of exposure. The darkened skin is caused by an excess of melanin; a substance that is naturally produced by the skin, and gives the complexion its unique tone. UV rays can trigger an increase in melanin production as it also acts as a way of protecting the skin. Over time the melanin can build up in the skin’s cells, appearing as darker patches on the surface.
HOW CAN THIS BE TREATED?
Applying a suitable SPF everyday has benefits for the skin in many ways. As well as preventing the growth of cancerous cells, sun protection can also avert premature skin ageing and damage to the underlying skin cells and tissues – including age spots. The experts at Dr. Grace Kelly Aesthetic Skin Clinic would always advise using a high SPF (50+), and skincare ranges such as ZO Skin Health and Obagi have these products available within their ranges. However, if reducing the appearance of age spots that have already developed is requested, we may be able to achieve this through the use of in-clinic treatments such as: IPL, laser skin rejuvenation, microneedling (SkinPen) and chemical peels.